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The Jewish State: Theodor Herzl's Vision and Israel's Reality

Updated: Apr 29

Book Review: The Jewish State by Theodor Herzl
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BOOK DATA The Jewish State

English Title: The Jewish State (Der Judenstaat)

Author: Theodor Herzl (1860-1904)

Language: German

Publisher: Verlags-Buchhandlung

(February 14, 1896)

Though proportionately heretofore but little read or studied, the pages that follow this introduction will eventually occupy a noteworthy place in Jewish and universal history. Whilst the author, Dr. Theodor Herzl, was, confessedly, not moved by the novelty of the Jewish State idea, yet he was in the main unconscious in the winter of 1895 of the parentage of his thoughts; for those who had labored before him, excepting George Eliot, were comparatively obscure, and their words had only found acceptance amongst eclectic bands of enthusiasts in Eastern Europe. It is, however, curious that though argumentative, polemical, or enthusiastic, none of the forerunners of the Jewish State were, in the real sense, visionaries; and this brochure is only grandiose in the simplicity of its presentation of an idea, and historic by what its publication has already achieved. Though the Jewish State idea may be Utopian, which its advocates deny, its author sketched no Utopia, and offers no picture of an idea, human future—it was sufficient for him to point out how the wounds of Israel might be healed and to remove the chafing which the conjunction of Jew and anti-Semite brings about.  – Jacob De Haas


Cited from Author Theodor Herzl; Contributor, Jacob De Haas; Edition, 3; Publisher, Federation of American Zionists, 1917; Length, 44 pages, p.4.


Theodor Herzl’s outline of why and how to build a Jewish state depicted in this book has been a reality since the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948.  In general, Theodor Herzl was moderate and didn’t antagonize Jewish leftists who were engaging in revolutionary movements around the world where their rights to survival were in jeopardy. And his main concern was to save the dispersed Jewish people of the world by re-establishing the state of Israel. Furthermore, he was a prophet like Moses, and he already saw the ongoing anti-Semitic sentiments in the West at that time.


The idea which I have developed in this pamphlet is a very old one: the restoration of the Jewish State. The earth resounds with outcries against the Jews, and these outcries have awakened the slumbering idea.Theodor Herzl


Cited from Author Theodor Herzl; Contributor, Jacob De Haas; Edition, 3; Publisher, Federation of American Zionists, 1917; Length, 44 pages, p.9.

Today, anti-Semitism is still a global issue for Jewish people simply because the Arabs, Syria, especially Iran and its proxies like Palestinian terrorists, Hamas, still refuse to recognize the very existence of the state of Israel, no matter how many lands are compromised and ceded to them by past Israeli administrations. The point totally neglected is that the Palestinian Centrality Theory is a refusal of recognition of the existence of Israel which is the main root cause of the conflict. Thus, it can’t be dealt with properly by demonizing, blocking, or silencing the sheer national security interests of Israel as a nation. Moreover, Palestinian terrorist apologists distort several key facts that 1) Jewish people, Israelis are not colonialists, but it’s originally their homelands on which the state of Israel was built; 2) the Middle East conflicts that have nothing to do with Israel are systematically ignored; 3) the Two-State solution is a sheer violation of the sovereignty of the state of Israel; 4) it’s highly possible that even if the State of Palestine was established against opposition of Israel, Iranian terrorists and their proxies will continue their terror attacks against Israel until its demise. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly saw these national security risks surrounding Israel and was determined to protect the existence of the state of Israel. We can’t find such a patriot like Bibi anywhere else in the world.  


Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz:


“The offer of recognition of a Palestinian state, made six months after the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, after sex crimes and other atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists, was a reward for terror.


I thank the US for vetoing this disgraceful proposal, which failed in the UN Security Council today.


It is outrageous that even six months after the 7.10 massacre, the UN Security Council has yet to condemn the horrific crimes of Hamas.


Terror will not receive rewards. Israel will continue to fight until Hamas is destroyed and all 133 Gaza abductees are released."


Recent big fake news against Israel is the one – a mass grave allegation – which was proven false as IDF doesn’t have such an operative model of burying civilians in a mass grave. Moreover, it turned out to be the Palestinians themselves that created the mass grave at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis in late January, as Nour Naim’s X video (URL) shows.

Book Review: The Jewish State by Theodor Herzl

Unfortunately, the anti-Semitic Hong Kong Chinese media and their paid commentators bought the fake news without any doubt. This anti-Semitism in the Chinese media is rampant at present, yet it doesn’t have any practical forces of influence to launch any activism in Hong Kong. The truth is below:


Officials in Gaza have said a total of 392 bodies, including those of children and women, with signs of torture and executions, have so far been found at makeshift burial sites at two hospitals that were earlier raided by the Israeli military.


IDF spokesperson Nadav Shoshani told Politico on Friday that reports of Israeli troops having anything to do with the burials were “fake news.”


When asked whether that meant that Israel would not investigate the matter, he replied: “Investigate what?”


The Israel Embassy in India has called any attempt to blame Israel for burying civilians in mass graves "false."


In a post on X, the Israel Embassy in India stated, "Misinformation is circulating regarding a mass grave that was discovered at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis. The grave in question was dug - by Gazans - a few months ago. This fact is corroborated by social media videos posted by Gazans at the time of the burial, as seen in the video below. Any attempt to blame Israel for burying civilians in mass graves is categorically false and merely an example of a disinformation campaign aimed at delegitimizing Israel."


Theodor Herzl gives the general picture of the Jewish situation in other civilizations around the world and the motive behind the establishment of the Jewish state: 


We have honestly endeavored everywhere to merge ourselves, in the social life of surrounding communities, and to preserve only the faith of our fathers. It has not been permitted to us.


[…] Oppression and persecution cannot exterminate us. No nation on earth has survived such struggles and sufferings as we have gone through. Jew-baiting has merely stripped off our weaklings; the strong among us were invariably true to their race when persecution broke out against them. This attitude was most clearly apparent in the period immediately following the emancipation of the Jews. Later, those who rose to a higher degree of intelligence and to a better worldly position lost their communal feeling to a very great extent. Wherever our political well-being has lasted for any length of time, we have assimilated with our surroundings. I think this is not discreditable. Hence, the statesman who would wish to see a Jewish strain in his nation would have to provide for the duration of our political well-being; and even Bismarck could not do that.


The Jews must previously acquire economic power sufficiently great to overcome all social prejudice against them.


Whatever is unfit to survive can, will, and must be destroyed. But the distinctive nationality of Jews neither can, will, nor must be destroyed. It cannot be destroyed because external enemies consolidate it. It will not be destroyed; this has shown during 2000 years of appalling suffering. It must not be destroyed, and that, as successor to numberless Jews who refused to despair, I am trying once more to prove in this pamphlet. Whole branches of Judaism may wither and fall, but the trunk remains.

I will give you my definition of a nation, and you can add the adjective 'Jewish.' A nation is, in my mind, a historical group of men of a recognizable cohesion held together by a common enemy. That is in my view a nation. Then if you add to that the word 'Jewish' you have what I understand to be the Jewish nation.  - Theodor Herzl


Cited from Author Theodor Herzl; Contributor, Jacob De Haas; Edition, 3; Publisher, Federation of American Zionists, 1917; Length, 44 pages, pp.2, 3, 4.


What is the cause of anti-Semitism? Theodor Herzl answered:


Modern Anti-Semitism is not to be confounded with the religious persecution of the Jews of former times. It does occasionally take a some-what religious bias, but the main current of the aggressive movement has now changed. In the principal countries where Anti Semitism prevails, it does so because of the emancipation of the Jews. - Theodor Herzl


Cited from Author Theodor Herzl; Contributor, Jacob De Haas; Edition, 3; Publisher, Federation of American Zionists, 1917; Length, 44 pages, p.9.


On Jewish revolutionaries and Jewish tycoons, why did Jewish people appear under different political and economic circumstances in the diversified shapes in history during their great emancipation? This was explained in relation to increasing anti-Semitic sentiments: 


 Anti-Semitism increases day by day and hour by hour among the nations; indeed, it is bound to increase, because the causes of its growth continue to exist, and cannot be removed. Its remote cause is our loss of the power of assimilation during the Middle Ages; its immediate cause is our excessive production of mediocre intellects, who cannot find an outlet downwards or upwards—that is to say, no wholesome outlet in either direction. When we sink, we become a revolutionary proletariat, the subordinate officers of the revolutionary party; when we rise, there rises also our terrible power of the purse.


Cited from Author Theodor Herzl; Contributor, Jacob De Haas; Edition, 3; Publisher, Federation of American Zionists, 1917; Length, 44 pages, p.10.


Here, it’s clear that Jewish emancipation is paralleled with anti-Semitism. The Jewish people's progress and anti-Semitic sentiments grew proportionately. Thus, this vicious endlessness can only be dealt with by overwhelming self-defense forces that are firmly established in the Jewish state at present, and it must be based on vital market economy in proper function. Like Theodor Herzl said, this antagonism against Jewish people reversely consolidated the identity of the Jewish people and the nation as a whole. The world spirit embodied by the great Jews perfectly realized itself, self-identity via the antithesis of anti-Semitism. Theodor Herzl’s book is the proof of this judgment.


Why did they choose Palestine, not Argentina? This is not explained by any adequate historical depiction that can erase prejudices against Israel and Zionism, but it still explains the time of writing this pamphlet: 


Palestine is our ever-memorable historic home. The very name of Palestine would attract our people with a force of marvellous potency. Supposing His Majesty the Sultan were to give us Palestine, we could in return pledge ourselves to regulate the whole finances of Turkey. - Theodor Herzl


Cited from Author Theodor Herzl; Contributor, Jacob De Haas; Edition, 3; Publisher, Federation of American Zionists, 1917; Length, 44 pages, p.12.


On the Seven-Hour Day Work:  


The seven-hours day is the regular working day. This does not imply that wood-cutting, digging, stone-breaking, and a hundred other daily tasks should only be performed during seven hours. Indeed not. There will be fourteen hours of labor, work being done in shifts of three and a half hours. The organization of all this will be military in character; there will be commands, promotions and pensions, the means by which these pensions are raised being explained further on.


[…] Whoever works longer than seven hours receives his additional pay for overtime in cash.


- Theodor Herzl


Cited from Author Theodor Herzl; Contributor, Jacob De Haas; Edition, 3; Publisher, Federation of American Zionists, 1917; Length, 44 pages, pp.16, 17.


For Theodor Herzl’s socialist essence, after reading his book, it’s symbolized by his insistence on the imposition of the seven-hour day work system for workers in the future Jewish state. And, before Israel, the industrial transformation of Bibi took place after a millennium, the state was in a socialist economy. Yet, Israel still maintains 8.4 hours of work per day, a legal working time cap of 42 hours per week, which is far better than Hong Kong because, in the latter, both the rights of collective bargaining, eight hour daily standard working time and the legal requirements of overtime wage are not materialized due to total surrender of the working class in the class struggle. Hence, Theodor Herzl’s socialist essence is beyond the dream of workers in Hong Kong even in 2024, after the death of Theodor Herzl in 1904. Such a spiritual father wasn’t created by this city in East Asia, in contrast to Israel. In general, Theodor Herzl’s view didn’t antagonize both Jewish capitalists and Jewish Bolsheviks at that time, it didn't even antagonize all layers of workers. Therefore, worker-friendly Theodor Herzl still doesn’t appear as a serious class enemy of workers in contrast to greedy speculators of this city, Hong Kong, as his labor policy was and still far beyond the reach of workers. 


One of the inability to recognize properly for the world people is that not all Jewish financiers are pro-Israel due to their individual and capitalist interests like perfectly seen in Soros’s financing of pro-Palestine protests world-wide now. Surprisingly, this typically ignored detail was realized by Theodor Herzl in the late nineteenth century already! For Herzl, he realized it in the context of how to finance building the state of Israel: 


The credit of our great Jewish financiers would have to be placed at the service of the National Idea. But should these gentlemen, who are naturally satisfied with their lot, decline to do anything for their co-religionists who are unjustly held responsible for the large possessions of certain individuals—should these great financiers refuse to cooperate—then the realization of this plan will afford an opportunity for drawing a clear line of distinction between them and the rest of Judaism.


[…] These might, perhaps, even try to oppose the Jewish movement by means of their secret servitors and agents. Such opposition we shall meet fairly and bravely.


It might even occur that, in the course of all these transactions, the ultimate object of them would be forgotten; Jews would create a new and large business and forget all about emigration. The notion of raising money in this way is not by any means impracticable. The experiment of collecting Christian money to form an opposing force to great financiers has already been tried; the experiment of opposing it with Jewish money has merely been thought of; it is quite feasible. But these financial quarrels would bring about endless crises the countries in which they occurred would suffer severely, and Anti-Semitism would become rampant everywhere. This method is therefore not to be recommended. I have merely suggested it, because it comes up in the course of the logical development of the idea. It is also doubtful whether smaller private banks would be willing to adopt it. In any case, the refusal of moderately rich Jews would not even put an end to the scheme. A third method of carrying it out remains to be tried.


- Theodor Herzl


Cited from Author Theodor Herzl; Contributor, Jacob De Haas; Edition, 3; Publisher, Federation of American Zionists, 1917; Length, 44 pages, pp.24-25.


The last part clearly shows that Herzl had considered the general social impacts of the crash between Jewish people and anti-Semitism because of Jewish people’s important status in the financial and trade sectors in societies. This is why the economic impacts of anti-Semitic movements must be prevented in Hong Kong. The stupidity of those self-proclaimed patriots fueling anti-Semitic sentiments in the Chinese media since the outbreak of the Israeli-Hamas War of 2023 is in fact jeopardizing and destabilizing the national security of China and Hong Kong. On the other hand, in the face of growing anti-Semitism, Herzl put emphasis on the driving force of Jewish patriotism as follows:


Great exertions will not be necessary to spur on the movement. Anti-Semites provide the requisite impetus. - Theodor Herzl


Cited from Author Theodor Herzl; Contributor, Jacob De Haas; Edition, 3; Publisher, Federation of American Zionists, 1917; Length, 44 pages, p.29.


It’s overwhelmingly silly to see those ‘anti-imperialists’ in Hong Kong. The Chinese media outlets who are fueling anti-Semitism are in line with Soros (his puppet Pelosi opposes Netanyahu) who funded the imperialist color revolutions abroad -including Hong Kong itself- and also funding the ongoing anti-Semitic student protests in the U.S. and France: 


Protests that began earlier this month at Columbia University in New York City have since spread to 40 universities and colleges in the US and Canada, including Harvard, Yale, and UC Berkeley. The Columbia protest was organized by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and Within Our Lifetime.


All three have received funding from Soros’s Open Society Foundations through a network of non-profits, the Post claimed, citing its own research. Other major donors to the student groups were identified as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and former Wall Street banker Felice Gelman.


None of the groups responded to the Post’s requests for comment.


The outlet also named three “fellows” of the Soros-funded US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), paid several thousand dollars to organize campaigns on campus. Two of them are former interns for congressional Democrats.


Activists have demanded that universities “divest” from companies such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, as well as Lockheed Martin, that have contracts with the Israeli government. They also want the US government to stop giving any more money to Israel, citing its “genocide” of the Palestinians in Gaza.


“We are demanding total institutional divestment from Israeli apartheid and Cop City at all Atlanta colleges and universities,” an organizer said. “We are occupying Emory, not because it is the only institution that is complicit in genocide and police militarization, but because its ties are some of the strongest.”


While the university initially claimed that the activists were “not members of our community,” it later acknowledged that out of 28 people arrested in the raid, 20 were from Emory.


Jonathan Greenblatt, leader of the US pro-Israel group Anti-Defamation League, claimed in an interview with MSNBC this week that the wave of protests was organized by “campus proxies” of Iran.


It’s no doubt that the ingredients of the students in those prestigious schools are products of governmental funding by anti-Israeli nations, as the infographic clearly shows:


Book Review: The Jewish State by Theodor Herzl
FILE PHOTO: © US Department of Education

On Theocracy:


Shall we end by having a theocracy? No indeed. Faith unites us, knowledge gives us freedom. We shall therefore prevent any theocratic tendencies from coming to the fore on the part of our priesthood. - Theodor Herzl


Cited from Author Theodor Herzl; Contributor, Jacob De Haas; Edition, 3; Publisher, Federation of American Zionists, 1917; Length, 44 pages, p.38.


In contrast to those anti-Semites’ fake narratives against Israel and Zionism, Theodor Herzl and Israel clearly oppose theocracy, as we can read in the text. This is a simple answer. 


On Neutralism:


The Jewish State is conceived as a neutral one. - Theodor Herzl


Cited from Author Theodor Herzl; Contributor, Jacob De Haas; Edition, 3; Publisher, Federation of American Zionists, 1917; Length, 44 pages, p.39.


Today, this is more about Israeli diplomacy that maintains its neutralism toward the West and foreign adversaries of the West like Russia, China, North Korea, yet without Iran.


Finally, Theodor Herzl shares his prophecy and vision of the Jewish state built in the later years as Israel:


Now all this may appear to be an interminably long affair. Even under favorable circumstances many years might elapse before the commencement of the foundation of the State. Meantime, Jews in a hundred different places would suffer insults, mortification, abuse, blows, depredation, and death. Not so, the initial steps towards the execution of the plan would stop Anti-Semitism at once and for ever. Ours is a treaty of peace.


[…] Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews wish to have a State, and they shall have one. We shall live at last as free men on our own soil and die peacefully in our own homes. The world will be freed by our liberty, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness. And whatever we attempt there to accomplish for our own welfare will react with beneficent force for the good of humanity.


Cited from Author Theodor Herzl; Contributor, Jacob De Haas; Edition, 3; Publisher, Federation of American Zionists, 1917; Length, 44 pages, pp.43-44.


Anti-Semitism in Hong Kong

Why is the Hong Kong real-estate Oligarchy fueling anti-Semitism in Hong Kong by exploiting the ongoing Israeli-Gaza Conflict? 


The most important thing for Hong Kong readers is why the Hong Kong real-estate oligarchy is fueling anti-Semitic narratives? The main reason is that attacking Israel is to attack and bury the upcoming economic transformation of Hong Kong like Israel succeeded in the early 2000s, and Israel became the developmentalist model for China to achieve new qualitative productive forces in the future. This is exactly the point.


Why are the reactionaries attacking Israel in China? From pure pity for colonialists called Palestinians in the Jewish land? No. The main reason behind the official narrative is that Israel is the prominent foreign model for development in the national plan of China. It’s the same for Hong Kong in why real estate speculators are fueling anti-Semitic sentiments in the establishment and public. In this context, attacking Israel is refusing the economic transformation of the Israeli kind which could save the livelihood of the poor majority in this city. Thus, Hong Kong’s anti-Semitism, fueled by the real estate oligarchy and Soros, is in fact attacking the future model of economic transformation by demonizing Israel and the Jewish people. 


Q&A: Israel’s Ambassador Says China’s Online Antisemitism Part of Global Phenomenon:


VOA: China appears to support the Palestinians and advocates for a two-state solution. How does this color Beijing’s position on the current conflict?

Irit Ben-Abba Vitale, Israeli Ambassador to China: Almost from the establishment of the People's Republic of China, (the two-state solution) has been the policy of the leadership here. We view the war as the Hamas-Israel war. The Chinese side looks at it more as part of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Since they don't recognize Hamas as being a terrorist organization, they also don't mention, Hamas is the entity or the organization that Israel is fighting.

We try to position our views; we listen to the Chinese views. We see the Chinese engage by sending their special envoy to the Middle East, to several countries. And there's this shuttle diplomacy that the special envoy from China is doing in the region. We are briefed, and we again present our positions. We also told the Chinese government that we were disappointed by their official statement that came on the eighth of October. 

VOA: Have Israel-China relations changed because of the conflict between Israel and Hamas? Will Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still plan to visit China?

Vitale: I don't think relations have changed. (China) doesn't recognize (Hamas) as a terrorist organization. We disagree on that. Nevertheless, we have very good relations with China. We hope that very soon we can continue with our normal bilateral relations and promote economic and trade ties and we can still disagree on political issues.

The prime minister, of course, his visit had to be postponed because of the war.

VOA: Chinese officials use the term “Palestine-Israel” conflict rather than “Israel-Hamas” war. Have you ever suggested they change that narrative? 

Vitale: China looks at it with a much broader perspective, yes, this is part of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. They don't look at it as a war against the terrorist organization that has to be dismantled from its military capabilities and administrative capabilities. This is the target of this war, [it] is very precise, and we made it very, very clear. We are trying to explain our position to the Chinese side, we say it's not a war against the Palestinians.

VOA: Antisemitism is surging in China online and in state media. What is your response?

Vitale: The antisemitic, anti-Israel discourse that we saw quite intensively in the last month has subsided. What we have seen in the last month was a global kind of trend. So, this definitely was never a phenomenon in China. I would even say the contrary is true, what we have seen all these years in China is a very positive kind of attitude to Jews and to Israelis. There’s always been quite an admiration even — Israel is such a small country, in a very short time, in a very difficult environment managed to be so successful developing our economy and high technologies — This (admiration) is something that we heard a lot.



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